Jennifer MacBain-Stephens is the author of two full length poetry collections: "Your Best Asset is a White Lace Dress," (Yellow Chair Press, 2016) and "The Messenger is Already Dead," (forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press, 2017.) Visit: http://jennifermacbainstephens.wordpress.com/.
Poems by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens
A tiger’s eye stared me out of gold once.
It said give up what you love.
I dug my way back through beetles and opened a paint store.
So many colors to greet me every day I could not label emotions:
am I Sienna Italy? Am I Frosted Surfer? Am I Knight time Brusque?
Yellow wasps rage inside my throat,
swarm under tiny bones, heave tornado hair
the tossed silver piece lands face up before
the lightning storm. Pink phalanges rotate in the sun,
balloon animal is the new candidate.
Skin turns tourniquet shadow: your black and white
ska nightmare is finished. Wake up.
Regrow sky blue
the white knight saves us, stained teeth apart, whispers of orange revenge
no glinting trophies await inside an ecru straight jacket.
This silver medal is a wolf hound, knows only exposed neck and steel jaw.
Black buries a friend before the noose stops swinging,
green bottle flies implode, fall from a volcano onto a red velvet pillow
an engagement present on satin. Or blood.
We pour bleach on it: the white poison bubbles,
erases rosiness, no mistakes.
(inspired by Really System’s editor Patrick William’s poetry prompt generator at Found Poetry Review, April 2016.)
The despondent of point A must travel by train and circumnavigate smiles
to Cornwall train depot at point B
At no time must despondent stop or eat or change
the mode of dress is always raining
point B in Cornwall must wear a gray fedora over a swimming cap and carry
a large s a n d w I c h
the number 18 clearly visible
outside the right hip parka pocket
hand cuffs, Orvis fishing flies, all our prayer hands are held with zip ties after 1958: the electrical company Thomas and Betts never saw it coming
Our best security system is the canary flies at midnight
point A despondent must D
the contents of the package
Like nuclear families,
the package is never where it is supposed to be
Point A despondent cannot carry an error around like a skinny needle reach ING STRETCH I N G
into the obvious ether
never come home to CHANGE name/s/
change of address,
with point B contact
say how is the weather?
the answer is fair, always fair.
Painting by Jay Rosenblum '55